How to Apply

To apply for the PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline. Most applicants also have a master’s degree in public health (MPH). For applicants who do not have an MPH, prerequisite course requirements include completion of graduate courses covering theories of 

  • health behaviors, 
  • biostatistics,
  • epidemiology, 
  • environmental health and health policy, and 
  • political and economic aspects of health. 

These theories are also the five core courses of the MPH curriculum.

Applicants without an MPH degree can consult with the Admissions Office to determine if their previous courses meet the prerequisites.

Required Application Components

The admissions committee takes a holistic view of all applicants to the program. An important consideration is the match in interests between a candidate and a Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty member available to mentor a new student. We recommend that students contact the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences to discuss their areas of interest and opportunities for mentored research before applying to the program.

Application Components

Laptop Requirement

Laptops are integrated into the curriculum at the College of Public Health to improve opportunities for active learning and provide greater access to specialized software and required tools in and out of the classroom. Incoming students are required to have a laptop that meets certain minimum hardware specifications. Review full laptop requirements.

Additional Requirements for International Students

For applicants whose native language is not English, the TOEFL is required with a minimum score of 79 on the iBT. These scores should be sent officially to SOPHAS using the SOPHAS-specific TOEFL code of 5688.

A WES Evaluation is required for applicants who completed their degree outside of the United States. This can be requested and submitted through SOPHAS.

Application Deadline

  • Fall Priority: Dec. 15*
  • Fall Regular Decision: Feb. 1

*This deadline enables students to be nominated for fellowships. Applications must be submitted AND complete (i.e., all required materials must be received and verified by SOPHAS) by Dec. 15 to be considered.